I am providing a forum for voicing your opinions. I claim no
responsibility for any opinions expressed here.
Let me preface this by saying specifically that I do not consider
shooting matches to be training and I do not consider myself to be
a bad-ass tactical know-it-all because I’m pretty good at them, however,
I will say, you can learn a lot from shooting matches, if you so choose.
I have been accused of being a gamer time and time again at shooting
matches because I shoot fast. There is a concept I agree with, and that
I have repeated to people many times: “Fast” is not always gaming but
“slow” is not always tactical. Sometimes slow is just simply lack of
speed, and if I happen to be able to shoot faster than you can, it
doesn’t mean I’m a gamer. There are very seldom absolutes in anything.
Sometimes you need to move quickly, and sometimes you need to move slowly.
If you are standing in the open and three or four people walk up and attack
you (a fairly common IDPA scenario), I truly believe you had better move
fairly quickly. I would venture a guess that if three or four people are
trying to kill you at the same time from five yards away, you don’t have
the fifteen or twenty seconds to take care of that problem like many people
seem to think you’ll have.
I have noticed a trend among some trainers to take the “speed” of
competition to an opposite extreme. A stage that will take a moderate
shooter fourteen or fifteen seconds to complete, will take a “tactical
trainer” sixty or seventy seconds to complete, sometimes longer. I’m not
referring to a house clearing stage where it makes sense to move slowly and
methodically, but a “standard” scenario that represents the good guy being
attacked by several armed bad guys in the open from very close distances.
The tactical instructor will draw his gun, get a good long sight picture,
and shoot his first target at the five or six second mark, then slowly
move on to target two, three, etc. He will amble over to cover and take
ten or twelve seconds to perform a tactical reload (which is pretty much
worthless in the middle of a gunfight, btw. The tactical reload is and
always was intended to be an administrative action, not a gunfight
technique) then shoot at the remaining two or three targets, taking another
twenty or thirty seconds to shoot “tactically” from around the barricade
he’s behind. I haven’t been in all that many gunfights (and neither have
most other instructors) but I can’t imagine having sixty or seventy seconds
to “do your thing” if you are being attacked by three or four bad guys.
A few years ago, a guy showed up to our matches for a few weeks and decided
that he was going to “teach” us all how to be gunfighters. His reasoning was
that slow is always better, no matter what. For instance, a scenario that
represented an ATM attack where you had no cover and were attacked by three
bad guys at close distances, would take him twenty or thirty seconds to
complete. When I asked him why it was better to take twenty or thirty
seconds instead of three or four, he would always argue that all his shots
were “perfect” and all mine were scattered. All my shots would be in the
vital area on the target, but all his would be right in the center of the
chest. He was trying to get every shot on a target in the same hole. I
asked him if he really thought he would have that much time in a real
gunfight with three attackers at three or four yards, and he always said
“sure.” He also told us how we, if any of us were ever involved in a
shooting would all be sued for “shooting too fast” and he would never be
sued because he took his time. I assured him several times he was right
at least about not being sued, since he would be dead if he tried to take
twenty seconds to shoot three men that were shooting back at him from three
or four yards. He never seemed to understand my point, however. Go figure.
Another trend I have noticed more and more is the “combat dancing” maneuver
some use while reloading. While I think it’s a good idea to move quickly to
cover if you can, and I concede that statistically, you will never need to
reload in a gunfight, if you ever actually have to reload, standing in the
open while doing so is completely futile, even if you are moving. I have
proven (and so have others) in various demonstrations, if you are within
typical confrontation distance, you cannot move so fast that I cannot hit
you with a projectile from my handgun. Move to cover if cover is available,
but don’t stand in the open dancing back and forth thinking you are safe from
incoming gunfire. At your typical confrontation distances, even an untrained,
inept bad guy is likely to hit you, even if you’re moving, especially if you
give him time to fire several shots.
Anyway, those who can’t, teach, as they say. I’m not the world’s greatest teacher.
In fact, I’m not really a very good instructor at all. However, I can say with some
confidence that you don’t want to be a person I’m shooting at, and if you walk up to
me with a gun drawn with intent to harm me, you’d better shoot me as you’re walking
up...and you’d better hit me in a vital zone...and you’d better hit it several
times...and you better hit it quickly...because if you don’t do all of that to me,
I’m going to do all of that to you. A lot. And fast.
Robert V. Robinson
My Experience and Training: